Workers to be made redundant in Bord na Mona could avail of assistance under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). This was stated, today, Thursday, October 25th, by Marian who was the chief negotiator for the European Parliament for the setting up of the current EGF.
She said: “The priority right now is to concentrate on the workers who will be made redundant and to assess their needs and skills and preferences. Then the Department of Education and Skills must put together an application in conjunction with the workers themselves, and their representatives, that will provide the redundant workers with relevant training, upskilling or the possibility of grant aid towards starting up their own business.
“While the normal threshold for applying for the EGF is 500 redundancies, we in the European Parliament have included a measure whereby if the redundancies are less than 500 but will have a significant impact on the local or regional economy then an application can be made. This is most certainly the case in the midlands region for which the latest CSO employment statistics show a significantly higher unemployment rate than the rest of the country.
“Ireland has already made a number of successful applications under the 500 threshold including three separate applications for the SR Technic’s workers.
“It’s important to note that it is in the first instance up to the Irish government to put together a proposal and apply for the funding. We have already had 10 successful applications for EGF so we have plenty of experience in applying. Furthermore, all applications that meet the criteria are granted so therefore there is no need for any delay. We should immediately start consultation with the affected workers and their representatives and be ready to move on day one”, she concluded.
Note: The EGF was set up by the EU to show solidarity to redundant workers who lose their jobs due to globalisation or an economic crisis. Marian Harkin, as well as drafting the legislative document for the European Parliament also sits on the European Parliament Working Group which assesses all EGF applications from the 28 member states.